, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 251-253
Date: 04 Mar 2008

The urban region: natural systems in our place, our nourishment, our home range, our future

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Consider dividing the land into two parts…urbanized areas and rural/remote areas. Urban planning sometimes achieves heroic successes both small and large where people are concentrated, but has little interest in the much-larger rural/remote land areas with dispersed people. Meanwhile conservation and other resource planners also achieve large and small miracles, but generally only where people are few. To sustainably mesh both nature and us on land requires seriously linking the two broad approaches, and later the emergence of a new integrated expertise.

The concept of an urban region looks especially promising. Indeed, “Natural systems in our place, our nourishment, our home range, and our future,” serves as the philosophic framework for the ideas here. Humans have just crossed a threshold. We’ve entered the urban century: worldwide more of us live in urban areas than in rural areas. Steward Pickett points out that Homo sapiens is now an urban species. The city and its interdependent p

Many of the specific ideas here are explored in: Forman, R. T. T. Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning Beyond the City. Cambridge University Press, New York (in press).